Worship Music and Hymnody

Music in the Episcopal Church can be as diverse as its worship services. Our hymnal draws all Episcopalians together musically in the same way that the Book of Common Prayer draws us together in prayer and liturgy.

The Hymnal of the Episcopal Church offers 720 hymns in addition to liturgical music. While some of the hymns date back to monastic chants, the hymnal offers more modern music as well.

The Hymnal retains the best of the past and sets forth many riches of our own time.  When The Hymnal 82 (1982) was revised, The Standing Commission looked for theological orthodoxy, poetic beauty, and integrity of meaning. At the same time, the Commission was especially concerned that the hymnody affirms 'the participation of all in the Body of Christ the Church, while recognizing our diverse natures of children of God.'  Texts and music which reflect the pluralistic nature of the Church have been included, affording the use of Native American, African-American, Hispanic, and Asian material.

There are other hymnals that have been approved by The Episcopal Church and they also are utilized in worship services: Wonder, Love, and Praise is a supplement to The Hymnal 82; Lift Every Voice and Sing II is a popular collection of 280 musical pieces from both the African American and Gospel traditions, and has been compiled under the supervision of the Office of Black Ministries of the Episcopal Church. It includes service music and several psalm settings in addition to Negro spirituals, gospel songs, and hymns.  Come Celebrate is a hymnal collection of 290 praise music hymns.  The Psalter, chants, and canticles are sung occasionally, as well.

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